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Army to review Purohit’s suspension from service after examining SC order

LiveMint logoLiveMint 21-08-2017 PTI

New Delhi: Lt. Col. Shrikant Prasad Purohit, who was granted bail by the Supreme Court on Monday in the 2008 Malegaon blast case, will have to report back to his unit after walking out of jail and the Army will review his suspension from service after examining the court order, army sources said on Monday.

They said Purohit will be placed under same restrictions as an officer in “open arrest” and his movement will be confined to his residential accommodation and camp of his unit. An officer is placed under open arrest when court martial proceedings are initiated against him. The Army had initiated a Court of Inquiry against Purohit in April 2009.

Purohit spent almost nine years in jail for his alleged role in the Malegaon blast case. Granting him bail, the apex court observed that there were contradictions in the charge sheets filed by different investigating agencies. The army sources said the Army headquarters will study the Supreme Court’s order granting him bail and accordingly a call will be taken on whether to revoke his suspension from service.

Also read: 2008 Malegaon blasts case: SC grants bail to accused Lt. Col. Shrikant Purohit

They said Purohit will have to wear uniform while being in his unit but he may be permitted to wear plain clothes as well. Purohit, who was posted with an unit under Southern Command and was an officer from intelligence corp, was suspended from service soon after he was arrested in connection with the Malegaon blast case in late 2008.

After the report of the Court of Inquiry (CoI), Purohit’s salary and allowances were restricted to 25 per cent of his total pay but it was increased to 75% following an order by the Armed Forces Tribunal (AFT), the sources said. Purohit had approached the AFT after the cut in his salary following report of the CoI. “He will have to report back to his unit after getting out of jail.

He can be attached to any other unit after that,” said a source. According to defence regulation service rules, while under suspension, an officer will be placed under the same restrictions as an officer in open arrest. Six people were killed in the blast on 29 September, 2008, at Malegaon, a communally-sensitive textile town in Nasik district of north Maharashtra.

The apex court set aside the 25 April verdict of the Bombay High Court denying bail to Purohit, but imposed certain restrictions while granting him relief after he spent eight years and eight months in jail.

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